Star Wars: Age of Rebellion

This week I got to play Star Wars: Age of Rebellion. Read on to find out my thoughts on the game.

Inspired in Japan
It’s surprising how may Japanese role-players seem to get started on Call of Cthulhu. I have no idea why, but, where most westerners start with D&D, and might even refer to all rpgs generally as “D&D”, Japanese players have a firm foundation is the mythos. Certainly all of the Japanese players I’ve met, mostly teenagers, can’t get enough Cthulhu. Perhaps it has something to do with the ghosts and monsters that are so prevalent in Japanese culture?

Justin Mullis writes for the Lovecraft eZine that Lovecraft’s work came to Japan in the 1940’s, and has had a major impact on many creatives, including anime and manga artists. Certainly, Lovecraft’s work has inspired a huge number of artists and game designers all over the world. Maybe that’s why Call is so popular in the Land of the Rising Sun.

If you can find it, check out the anime Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san, but be warned, SAN loss awaits you.

Avernos Unearthed
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Rising Phoenix News
In a few weeks I’ll be introducing you to some of my friends, guest authors who’ve got some fantastic articles that are sure to inspire you.

Campaign Journal
I got my first chance to play Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, playing the ace character Zal in a run of the beginner game. I love starter sets, because they’re well put together and easy to play, and ease you into the bigger game.

The concept: It’s Star Wars, and you’re playing a Rebel up against the Empire. Sign me up. The action is set somewhere during the original Star Wars movies. In the starter, you’re tasked with infiltrating an Imperial base and capturing it for the Rebel cause.

Mechanics: Edge of the Empire shares mechanics with many new generation RPGs I’ve played, such as Marvel Heoric Roleplaying (and Cortex). You’re not going to be counting squares for movement or range, and there’s a fair bit more emphasis placed on telling a story from the results on the dice, rather than just saying “Oh, you hit with your blaster.”

Fantasy Flight love to give you custom dice, and much of the mechanics revolve around rolling a number of dice against other opposing dice. This is all very intuitive, and it seemed to make for a faster game. Combat didn’t take long at all, and was very easy to understand.

Components: I loved the map, the character booklets, the tokens and the dice. I don’t like that I can’t use my own dice for this game, but the dice compliment the game well. Fantasy Flight got better at making dice; the dice from my copy of Doom: The board game are fading fast, but dice from newer products are indented and should last forever. I only got to skim the rulebook, but it looks great, with plenty of pictures to inspire and examples and tables to clarify the rules.

Characters: the included pregenerated characters were great. Out of three players, everyone felt some connection to their character before starting out. Personally, I felt that Zal, my character, would be loads of fun to play and I wanted to really explore her motivations in game. I’m also glad that the characters weren’t rubber stamped copies of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Luke. You’re very much telling stories in a world where those characters are doing their own things.

Unfortunately there are no rules for character generation in the starter, but it looks like you’ll still get a few sessions and levels out of the box before you need to expand your collection.

In Short: Buy this game if you want to tell your own Star Wars stories. This box will get you started and set you up for expanding your game with other books in the series.

That’s all from me until next week.
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